* London’s FTSE 100 is seen opening higher on Wednesday, with December futures on the index trading 0.7 percent stronger at 0728 GMT, as President Barack Obama’s victory in the U.S. election took away uncertainty over leadership of the world’s biggest economy. For more on the factors affecting European stocks, please click on
* The UK blue-chip index closed up 45.84 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,884.90 on Tuesday.
* BURBERRY : The British luxury goods group beat forecasts with a 6 percent rise in first-half profit as its most wealthy shoppers continued to spend despite a faltering global economy.
* VEDANTA : The India-focused miner said on Wednesday that efforts to streamline its sprawling structure were on track to complete this year, brushing off fears of a delay as it reported an almost 50 percent jump in first-half core profit. The group reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation exactly in line with market forecasts, as Cairn India, acquired last year, offset the impact of weaker profits from zinc and iron ore.
* RANDGOLD RESOURCES : Third-quarter profit at the gold miner was down 15 percent in the third quarter at US$121.3 million. Production was 204 475 ounces of gold against Q2’s 210 534 ounces and 182 362 ounces in Q3 2011.
* BHP BILLITON : The top global miner has started hunting for a new chief executive in a process that could take one to two years, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.
* LEGAL & GENERAL : Shares in the insurer rose to a five-year high of 144.89 pence on Tuesday, with articles in the UK press citing talk of possible bids worth up to 250 pence per share from Switzerland’s Zurich Insurance < ZURN.VX> and Germany’s Allianz for the firm. L&G had reported higher-than-expected 6 percent increase in nine-month sales on Thursday.
* PEARSON : The publisher has decided to consider offers for the Financial Times newspaper this year and may seek at least $1 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the situation.
* SPIRAX-SARCO ENGINEERING : Trading performance at the engineering group improved in the four months to October, with operating profit 8 percent ahead. The board continues to expect the group to make progress for the full year.
* Blue chip stocks Barclays, BP, Bunzl, Unilever and Whitbread, will go ex-dividend on Wednesday, taking 5.90 points off the FTSE 100 according to Reuters calculations.
* The FTSE 100 has been trading in a 3 percent range since mid-September as a boost from monetary stimulus from global central banks was curbed by concerns about Europe’s stagnant economy, unresolved debt crisis and gloomy corporate earnings.
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